Well, the end of the season is nearly here. We are just in the middle of the final few three day events to finish what has been quite a tough season for me. I’m writing this from Weston Park and then we have just two abroad events left, in Boekelo and Pau. Straight after that I am into the winter schedule, with the Champions Tour kicking things off.
Last time I wrote we were up at Blair where it was raining. Some things don’t seem to change as we are again having some pretty horrible conditions to contend with. Credit goes to the organisers of Osberton and Weston Park for preparing things so well, and being able to run with such wet conditions. At Blair, Carden Imp finished second in the CCI* which was brilliant. He gets more and more classy with every run and will be one to watch for higher up the levels in the future. Carousel Quest was feeling and acting as lively and fit as ever ahead of Burghley. I think that when he gets up to Blair to dressage in the CIC*** he knows what is to follow!
Next stop was indeed Quest’s favourite, Burghley. It’s become one of my favourite events too since winning there last year. Quest was on fine form, and definately wasn’t acting his age (Quest is now 15). Kath had been doing lots of grazing with him and walking him around to try and keep him calm and relaxed which is obviously very important for the dressage. Luckily she did a great job and Quest did an almost perfect test to lie in third place after this phase. Next came cross country on Saturday afternoon which is definately mine and Quest’s favourite phase together! The course was tough enough but fair and Quest did his usual masterclass round and didn’t leave me with much to do. It’s so nice to ride a horse like Quest who knows and loves his job. On the Sunday, Quest jumped well but unfortunately rolled two poles which dropped us down into 4th position overall. I was just pleased Quest did as well as he did and that he will now hopefully be back out again somewhere next year.
Following Burghley we had a quieter week at Blenheim with just ODT Sonas Rovatio in the young horse CIC***. The dressage was a little disappointing but it was ‘Goldmine’s’ first event at this level, and he jumped very well to move up the placings in the end. Goldmine is still young and will improve with every run. He will head to Boekelo next week for his first CCI*** so fingers crossed for that.
Then it was back into full swing with the younger horses with plenty of competition days at Purston Manor, Allerton Park and Aske Hall. I always look forward heading back up to Yorkshire (where I’m originally from) for two weeks on the run with both Allerton and then Aske. Results wise I had probably one of the best weekends of the season with all 10 of my horses finishing inside the top 10 at Allerton. Whata Perk came out on top with a win in her first Intermediate which was great for the ever improving young mare. Lord Limmerick also bagged two wins on the run at Allerton and Aske in his Novice classes. Arctic Mouse went very well at Aske to finish second in his section with Gorsehill Star close behind him.
Gorsehill Star then went to Osberton last week in the CCI* and came a very pleasing second. He is still in his first season of eventing having done a bit of show jumping before he came to me. He’s a real character at home and likes to be centre of attention as much as he can be! Carden Imp was also there and finished 5th in the CCI** after having a couple of show jumps down which cost him a higher placing.
I’ve got Jeepers Creepers and Undercover III here at Weston, both in the CCI** – and they are both very good horses. From Weston we head to Boekelo, Holland for a week then a short break before Pau to end the season off. It really isn’t far off now!
The yard is really starting to quieten down, although behind the scenes there is plenty of preparation going on for the Champions Tour. You may have seen the announcement of the infamous Jive pony team who are coming on board for the tour which will be brilliant; Geoff and I are looking forward to working with them!We are currently busy trying to arrange logistics and everything for the tour as I have to go straight from Pau to Gleneagles for the first night and there is a lot to get ready. Geoff and I are trying to use our ‘creative’ sides to come up with some new and exciting material!
REMEMBER there are discounted ticket prices for Members Club members if you buy through Nicole in the office (see contact details on my website www.olivertownend.com). To check out all the details for the Tour, including venues, visit the tour website www.thechampionstour.co.uk.
The team at home is keeping busy doing a few maintenance jobs around the farm, treating the fences, painting etc to get the Farm ready for 2011. We also had a visit to Gadlas Farm recently by Subaru to do a photo shoot. The horses thought it rather strange having to pose next to my car and poor Gorsehill Star was very surprised when I asked him to jump the bonnet of my Subaru Forester!! Some of you may have seen a sneaky photo appear on Facebook and Twitter: www.facebook.com/OliverTownend + www.twitter.com/Oliver_Townend
This month’s Member’s Competition is live on the site so don’t forget to enter for your chance to win goodies from the Lincoln Mud Fever Range. Well done to Jessica Hanbury who was last month’s winner and now has her very own Townend head collar! Speaking of the Townend range, I have been trying out lots of new samples and products for the clothing range which should be available in early 2011. I will keep you updated on it all!